I have an American recipe for molasses cookies but I live in Germany. I have not been able to find molasses in the grocery stores near me. Are there any good substitutes?

Thanks for any help.


7 Answers 7


Both http://www.germanyexpat.org/p/finding-food-items.html and https://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/topic/29436-where-to-buy-treaclemolassescornstarch/ recommend "Zuckerrübensirup," possibly brand "Grafschafter Goldsaft."

I have no experience with using this or how it compares to molasses.

  • 1
    It looks to be similar to the Dutch suikerstroop, which is just boiled down sugar beet juice. (there's also appelstroop and perenstroop, which are made from apple juice and pear juice so have a much fruitier quality to them). But before I used a fruit stroop, I'd look for British treacle (for light molasses) and black treacle for blackstrap molasses.
    – Joe
    Nov 14, 2018 at 3:29
  • 1
    @Joe Such treacle would never be found " inthe grocery stores near me" in Germany. It might be available in a British shop, but I have only seen those once or twice, in very large cities. Maybe amazon.de (or rather the German part of amazon marketplace) would carry treacle, but the likelihood that it carries molasses would be just as high.
    – rumtscho
    Nov 14, 2018 at 11:41
  • @rumtscho : I didn't mean to say that it's easily available ... just that it's closer than appelstroop, so worth looking for first. (it's been over 30 years since I lived in Europe (the Netherlands), so I have no idea what sort of things the stores carry these days and/or how common international groceries are. (I suspect you could find more variety in the Netherlands due to their colonies and the Dutch East India Trading Company. Although, back then, you wouldn't find much German food in the Netherlands ... they were still pissed about the war.)
    – Joe
    Nov 14, 2018 at 14:09

In Germany you can find Pekmez at Turkish stores, which I use Molasses to substitute for :)


Golden syrup is the usual substitute, although it is maybe less strongly flavoured. For some recipes it is important that both are acidic, so will react with bicarbonate of soda.

Update: I find black treacle is an excellent substitute for molasses. You might be able to find zuckerrohrmelasse in a larger supermarket.

  • While maybe a suitable substitute, golden syrup is hard to get in Germany.
    – Stephie
    Nov 13, 2018 at 21:16
  • Just feel the need to add that while golden syrup might be a good substitute as far as texture goes, it tastes nothing like molasses. Golden syrup is much sweeter and has a caramelly buttery flavor. Molasses has a dark, slightly bitter flavor and a definite acidity that Ive never tasted in golden syrup.
    – kitukwfyer
    Jan 4, 2020 at 22:03

I think the number 1 ideal substitute would be sorghum syrup, but I'm guessing since that's not even easy to find in the American South you won't be able to get it in Germany.

So do you have brown sugar? If you can find dark brown sugar, or somehow Japanese black sugar you could use about 3/4 cup of that and 1/4 cup of water per cup of Molasses. Brown/black sugar is traditionally made by not refining sugar-which means that those sugar options are essentially a combination of white sugar and Molasses. I don't know the exact ratio, but when I need 1 cup of brown sugar I usually replace it with 1 cup of white sugar plus 3 T of molasses.

If you can't find a dark sugar, I'd recommend dark honey before golden syrup. Honey varieties are regional, but if you can find buckwheat or sour wood honey, both of them have some bitter and acidic notes that remind me of Molasses.

4th choice would be to use a combination of maple syrup and corn/golden syrup. Or even dark corn syrup if that exists over there.

... I do have one thought which I'm not sure will work, but if your family is German, do you have a good Lebkuchen recipe? It seems like when Americans try to make Lebkuchen, we end up adding Molasses to replace some ingredients we can't get over here, so it could be that if you compare an authentic Lebkuchen recipe to an American knockoff, you might get an idea of how to best replace Molasses by considering that Molasses was the best substitution for ________(I don't know I can't find a German recipe that easily.)

I've never actually had "black treacle" , which is why I haven't included it, but it seems like that basically is Molasses if you can get it.

Good luck. Finding foreign ingredients is a pain. If all else fails, make some Lebkuchen and go taunt some Americans with them.


You won't find it in many supermarkets in Germany, but Reformhäuser (health-food stores) very often do stock it. Ask for Melasse/Zuckerrohrmelasse (my local Vitalia sells a brand called Appleford's). It's also possible, and possibly cheaper, to order online.


You can substitute maple syrup for molasses in most recipes. It works particularly well in gingerbread cookies. Start with slightly less than the amount of molasses called for as maple syrup is lighter in texture. The flavor profile will be different.

You can also substitute honey, though a light clover honey will not have the right effect flavor-wise. If you can find a dark honey, like buckwheat honey, it will have more molasses-like flavor. A summer wildflower honey often has a more robust flavor than a spring wildflower honey if you have the option of buying local honey. Honey has a different texture from molasses and may affect the texture of the final product. You may want to experiment with using a mix of honey and brown sugar or raw cane sugar to create the appropriate texture while maximizing the flavor. Brown sugar is usually used 1.5 cups to 1 cup to replace molasses.

  • I think you would be strung up in the American south for making such a suggestion. Maple syrup over my biscuits instead of molasses!!? heresy.
    – doneal24
    Jan 9, 2020 at 18:11
  • In the American south you wouldn't be having trouble finding molasses, making both the original question and my suggestion moot. Honey and biscuits is pretty dang good, though.
    – Fisher
    Jan 9, 2020 at 18:32

Not sure if it's available in Germany but here in the UK I use black treacle syrup - which is basically the same thing!

Lyle's Black Treacle

Here is a recipe I found on how to make it just from sugar, if you can't find it in shops.

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